When Tracy Pleschourt walked into her colleague’s office at the advertising agency where she had worked for nearly 15 years, she was on top of the world. She was smiling so wide her cheeks hurt. The agency was being named the Overall Leader in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Practices, a huge honor. Tracy—the agency’s director of sustainability—was being named CSR Executive of the Year. As she excitedly shared the news, Tracy’s colleague quipped that the higher-ups might think she was vying for the CEO’s job.
Everything Tracy had worked so hard for was being validated with national recognition, and yet her colleague’s comment stuck with her. Tracy’s job had been her passion and purpose. For all those years she had devoted her time and talents to helping the company and her coworkers succeed—from leading and upholding corporate responsibility initiatives, to serving as a champion of the values-based culture that had been created by one of the company’s founding members. She had no hidden agenda and no interest in leading the agency.
In the days that followed, Tracy replayed that conversation in her mind. She realized that sitting in the CEO seat meant something completely different for her. It wasn’t about power and prestige for Tracy, it was about empowerment and partnerships. She was dedicated to putting people and relationships first. Tracy was committed to listening, learning and developing future leaders. She was energized by collaborating and coaching.
And then Tracy had an aha moment. She’d identified a different kind of leader—a She-E-O. Not only did she see herself as the She-E-O of her own company, she wanted to empower hundreds, thousands, even millions of other women to become She-E-Os. In that moment, Tracy recognized that she could build her own business where the workplace culture was rooted entirely in her own values. She could create a role for herself that supported the successes of the individuals she worked with and celebrated their unique talents.
In 2015, Tracy took the giant leap off the corporate ladder. She launched SheStyle, an organization dedicated to supporting women at varying stages of career transition. SheStyle’s Career by Design program helps women determine where their passions and skills align, how to monetize their ideas and how to create a sustainable business. Through SheStyle’s unique programs, one-on-one mentoring and group coaching, Tracy guides every woman she works with through the process of transitioning to a lifestyle career that aligns perfectly with her values and priorities.
Since launching SheStyle, Tracy has given hundreds of women the tools and support they need to become the leaders they were meant to be … She-E-Os. And she has her sights set on making it millions.
For more information about Tracy’s business, visit SheStyle.co.
Photo: Tracy Pleschourt
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